"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Monday, February 02, 2004
Peering from the Hole
emerge Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): emerged; emerg·ing
Etymology: Latin emergere, from e- + mergere to plunge -- more at MERGE
1 : to become manifest
2 : to rise from or as if from an enveloping fluid : come out into view
3 : to rise from an obscure or inferior position or condition
4 : What I think I am doing, finally, but dare not hope too much for
I think, if I crane my neck, I can just make out your horizon.
And I never knew the sun could be so bright.
For me, being bipolar means that I never get to see the regular view of life that other people have. To me, life is always a great struggle, even when it is good, and over the years I have become a master of doing this inside and not showing any sign outside.
Unless it gets too bad and my grip slips, and then I explode all over the place. But we won't mention that today. At least not in any detail. Anyway, that's rare nowadays.
Only a few weeks ago, my experience of life was like being immersed in rapids. If I had any relief, it was only as if my head was just above the water. I still, on the best of days, felt overwhelmed, drowning, the turmoil inside me threatening to drag me back into places I would rather not ever visit again.
But I hung on. I smiled and laughed and told jokes and bled inside. Hey, that's what I do. I always have. I live in the lions jaw, and I don't have a lot of choice in the matter.
That began to slowly change a couple of months ago.
I was doing what I refer to as "blowing through my meds." My mood swings had become so intense and rapid that the meds I was on could not hold them in check. I knew things were off kilter. The rapids were way over my head a lot of days. I've learned that when that starts to happen, its time to go get some help.
The doc began to shift my meds around, looking for the right cocktail. In a few weeks, we got one that seemed to work.
I've been on this new regimen for a couple of months now.
I've noticed things inside of me settling down, even though it has been slow. At first, I had my head above the rapids. Then, the rapids were down to my chest. Next, just my legs. Finally, I felt the rapids just below me and I was not in them at all.
That was a heck of a day, believe me.
But nothing like today, when I can honestly say that the rapids are nothing more than a distant rumble, hardly even able to be heard.
I am realizing that this is what it feels like to be normal. This is what everyone else feels.
I am peering from the hole I have lived in all these many years, finally.
And I can see the sunshine that lights the lives around me, even though they take it for granted. Oh, if they knew the darkness below, they would laugh and dance in the light for all they were worth.
So I sit, with my head just above the rim, peering at the horizon.
Content, for now.
He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds. Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him. Most men yield to the stress of the current... Only here and there the stout, strong heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.